I’m Mystic Megson, I am, and when I predict the weekend’s Premier League results, people listen. Just because I’m currently battling for promotion to the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday – and doing a bloody good job of it too, thank you very much – it doesn’t mean that I don’t still know my onions when it comes to picking apart the greatest league in the world. I have managed in it, you know, and on more than one occasion. Now hang your hat on this lot, lads…
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Aston Villa vs Everton, 3pm
These were both up there challenging only a few years ago, were they not? I always hate to see my fellow red-haired managers having a bad time of things so my heart goes out to David Moyes and Alex McLeish, but the sad truth is that both sides are struggling badly for confidence and as such are likely to serve up a contest every bit as unappetising as the mother-in-law’s shepherd’s pie.
Mystic Megson says: 0-0, and that’s being generous!
Blackburn Rovers vs Fulham, 3pm
Some great attacking talent on display here. I like the young lad Junior Hoilett at Rovers – proper sprog’s name, that – and Yakubu’s still banging them in despite carrying more extra luggage than my aunt Bettie on the bus back from Iceland. As for Fulham, I don’t trust that twinkled-toed foreign lad what does all the fancy lobs and that, but Bobby Zamora’s welcome round ours for Sunday tea anytime. Proper man’s centre-forward, him.
Mystic Megson says: 2-1 Blackburn, with Steve Kean sticking it to the critics like nobody’s business!
Chelsea vs Sunderland, 3pm
That Villas-Boas seems like a decent lad, but you don’t get any prizes for that in this game. David Luiz still winds me right up, the frizzy-haired ponce, but Frank Lampard’s getting his mojo back so you can’t rule the west London side out just yet. As for Sunderland, they look rejuvenated under Martin O’Neill, and who amongst us expected anything less? He knows the value of a big man up top as much as anyone, so he could prove to be the making of Bendtner. Flash bastard, the Dane, but for some reason I like the cut of his jib. Can’t see the Black Cats getting another 3-0 win here, though.
Mystic Megson says: 1-0 Chelsea, late Lampard piledriver. ‘AVE IT!
Liverpool vs Stoke City, 3pm
Them Stokies must feel like a right bunch of charlies. Just a few weeks ago they were calling for Tony Pulis’ head, and now they’re flying higher than the missus after half a glass of sherry. I know Tony and he’s a proper man’s man, salt of the earth fella, and that counts for a lot in this game. Liverpool have had their controversies of late but they’ve still got a cracking side, and I’m backing Andy Carroll to start coming good sooner rather than later. There’s just something about him I like. Right dodgy barnet on him, though!
Mystic Megson says: 1-1, goals apiece from centre-backs at set pieces. Textbook stuff.
Manchester United vs Bolton Wanderers, 3pm
It’s long been said that you should never write United off, and sure enough they’ve bounced back again just as their neighbours City are having a bit of a wobble. I’ve no shame in admitting that Paul Scholes’ return brought a tear to my eye – he’s done so much to promote the cause of red-haired folk in his time, and I always make a point of shaking his hand and thanking him whenever we cross paths (which is increasingly infrequent, it must be said). As for Bolton, I’ve seen what their fans call me. Balls to ’em.
Mystic Megson says: 10-0 United. Suck on that, Bolton.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, 3pm
Spurs are a wonderful old club so it’s great to see them riding so high at the moment. Harry Redknapp’s a proper bloke and a good friend, and I’d certainly have to think very seriously about it if he offered me a coaching role once he becomes England manager, as he inevitably will. He’ll come calling, you just watch – no-one knows how to assemble a wall like old Meggo, and I’m not talking about DIY! Mick McCarthy’s another who is definitely my type of guy, and if he keeps sticking to his beliefs and giving his lads a good bollocking now and then, he can definitely guide Wolves to a fourth successive season in the Premier League, no question.
Mystic Megson says: 3-1 Tottenham, but they’ll have a few scares on the way.
West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City, 3pm
Two of my old clubs come head to head in what could well end up being an old-fashioned six-pointer with all the trimmings. Both sides are sitting around mid-table as things stand, but neither can afford to get complacent – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Although, having said that, it’s a Snickers, not a marathon! Ha! Ha! Seriously though, I love the jobs Roy Hodgson and Paul Lambert are doing and I fully expect both to be strutting their stuff in the top flight come August. A wily old fox and a bright young thing – must have them both round for tea and crumpets some time.
Mystic Megson says: 2-2 in a highly entertaining encounter during which both sets of fans sing my name in unison. “Ooooone Gary Gary!…” Aw, shucks lads.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Newcastle United vs Queens Park Rangers, 1.30pm
I spent a year at Newcastle during my playing days – I thought I did alright but they clearly took a different view, shipping me off to Sheffield Wednesday at the earliest opportunity. In retrospect that could have been the best thing to happen to me, as I forged such a strong bond with the Hillsborough faithful that I’m now back as manager. Alan Pardew I’m not convinced about but you can’t argue with the job he’s doing at the moment, while it will be interesting to see what sort of an impact Mark Hughes can have given that a manager as gifted as Neil Warnock was shunted out by that know-nothing foreign owner. Neil was too good for ‘em and I’ve been sure to tell him so. He came round after he was given the news and poured his heart out over a brandy. It was quite uncomfortable to watch, but now I feel closer to him than ever. Bless him.
Mystic Megson says: 1-1, Joey Barton – who else? – to slot home a dramatic equaliser for QPR. Or is he suspended? I predict the future, not the past.
Swansea City v Arsenal, 4pm
Brendan Rogers must be the unsung hero of the Premier League season so far, and he’s got the kind of stern face you could hang your hat on (not literally, of course!). I’ve been very impressed with the way he’s got his side defending away from home, while Danny Graham’s goal-scoring has been more regular than the mother-in-law after a litre of prune juice. I don’t like Arsene Wenger but you can’t argue with his track record, and he looks to have Arsenal back on…well, track, after their nightmare start. Thierry Henry’s goal against Leeds the other day was fairytale stuff and he’ll be hoping for more of that at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. Cripes, did I really just write that? Must have slipped into autopilot mode for a second. Sorry lads.
Mystic Megson says: 3-0 Arsenal, with that Dutch fella they’ve got up top bagging a brace. He’s impressed me this season.
Monday, 16 January 2012
Wigan Athletic v Manchester City, 8pm
Roberto Martinez seems like a thoroughly decent sort, but you don’t win any prizes for…oh hang on, I’ve already said that. Bloody nora, I’m going batty in my old age! Anyway, I can see Wigan surviving by the skin of their teeth yet again, especially with Victor Moses in such a rich vein of form, but City will be keen to bounce back from their recent setbacks and should have too much for the home side. It’s a Monday night kick off, though, so anything could happen. Don’t ask me to explain that hypothesis, just bloody accept it and be done with it.
Mystic Megson says: 3-1 City, with a hat-trick for Segio Silvatelli, or whatever his blasted name is. You know, the nutty one who’s Spanish or something.
Right, I’m off for my traditional Friday barm cake and chips. Peace out, homies!